I could not believe I have had my best croissant in 20 years in Laos! In PAris (and most of France), boulangeries have become shops selling soggy baguettes prepared elsewhere (maybe in a large factory), and croissants are way too buttery, lacking that golden shell and light inside. I have been in Paris, in Nice, in Grenoble, but I was oh so disappointed! Le Petit Dejeuner in the morning was a too soft baguette, with no crispy outside and a sponge-like inside, plus customary small hotel size industrial butter and too sweet jam. What a change in Le Banneton. This is France 20 or 30 years ago, when your boulangerie was the real thing. Croissants are the real thing, not too greasy, not soggy, but fluffy and crispy as well. Baguettes are light as feathers, and you can have them filled with all you want. Cappuccino comes in 1 size, as it should. Originally, double cappuccino (or large) did not exist! The same is tue for Espresso or black coffee. Everything is the way it was, before globalization, Starbucks and Maccas. Do allow me to be romantic about the old times! Not everything that is novel is good. Some past customs were good, and Laos is one place where these good things can be still found. I hope it will not be ruined by the global brands. But I see that many tourists there are different, some very "cultural" (mostly the middle aged and single women), others are there for a cheap beer and cheap cost of living, others are there for a sort of communalist utopia (the young). I hope Laos stays the destination for the "different", as these tourists bring wealth but not arrogance and uniformitarianism.
Eventually, if you are in Ventiane, choose a hotel with no breakfast and head to Le Banneton!
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